With the Olympics coming up, does that have any effect on the ECHL?

From: Justin

Comments: Hey, just thinking with the Olympics coming up, does that have any effect on the ECHL? For example, do NHL team send some guys not in the Olympics down to the AHL to get some work in, forcing the AHL to send some guys down here?

I’m a big fan of you Mailbag guy! Keep up the good work!

Reply: It shouldn’t have much of an effect on the ECHL. Mainly because NHL teams cannot just send all sorts of players down to the AHL during the Olympic break.

Why can’t some players play in the AHL? Well the league and the NHLPA negotiated a big, long list of stipulations regarding which players get an Olympic break and which ones don’t… a string of legalese that’s not included in the CBA. Basically, players who don’t require waivers to be sent down still get the time off if (a) they were on an NHL roster (or injured reserve) for at least 75% of the days between Oct. 1 and Jan. 24, including being in the NHL on Jan. 24 or later or (b) they participated in 16 of the last 20 games before the break.

So what that means is that if a guy has been on an NHL roster long enough, he has earned a break during the Olympics and will not be playing in any games. And if the NHL team wanted to send a guy down to the AHL to play during the Olympic break, they would have to have done so a couple weeks ago.

-The Mailbag Guy

p.s. Sucking up to the Mailbag Guy will usually get your comments posted.